Saturday, September 11, 2010

#3 of 50 Ways to Change Birth in Our Culture: NUTRITION

Greetings Birth Peeps,
Today is our #3 way to change birth in our culture. Prenatal Nutrition. It may not seem all that exciting, and it is just that attitude that earned it top billing in our list of 50 Ways to Change Birth in Our Culture.

As a childbirth educator/mentor, I have been asking mothers for almost 30 years to tell me what they eat, and if they have received nutritional counseling from their doctor or midwife. This is how I know that our culture does not value the impact good nutrition has on the mother's health and well-being during the childbearing year. It is RARE to talk to a mother who has received sound nutritional counseling during prenatal care. Mothers more often report that their birth attendant dismisses their concerns about whether they are eating enough. One mother was told them to "trust her appetite," another was advised not to worry about it because "the baby is so small, it doesn't need much." (Both of these mothers were eating good food, but not enough protein or calories to nourish the baby and placenta, and all the changes occurring in their body during pregnancy.)

A lot of people think that after the first trimester, the baby is fully formed and is not as dependent on good nutrition. The baby's organs are continually growing and developing, not just in first trimester, but also important changes are still occurring in third trimester. So sound nutrition is important throughout the pregnancy.

Technology and advanced (intensive) baby care can do a lot for us... but as a culture, we shouldn't become passive and dependent on that kind of life-saving management. Instead, all of us--mothers, and people who feed and care for pregnant mothers--should do our part to nourish the mother and the life within.

If you have any inspired facts, research, good books or resources to motivate and feed our interest in this topic, please write in.



  1. Hi Pam,

    Great blog! I couldn't agree more. So I have created a nutrition website. I send to every pregnant woman (and those planning to become pregnant) the when they first contact me.
    I enjoy adding things to Womb Garden so if anyone has any suggestions please go to the Contact page on the website and send them to me. I especially would like recipes.

    Hugs, Linda Wilson

  2. Nice! I like the idea of this website and will share it with others. I find too that this is such an overlooked topic for many moms and I am always looking for new ways to help people get creative with their diets. Thank you!

  3. I am inspired by this post to give more attention to nutrition in my classes and in prenatal visits with doula clients. My main concern around teaching this topic has always been how to inspire women and avoid guilt-tripping them. It's such a sensitive area where many of us are all too ready to take that trip.

  4. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Marcia Backstrom